UK’s First Post-Brexit Trade Deals Go Live: UK Immigration Implications

Business and Personal Immigration, 1 June 2023

Britain’s first post-Brexit trade deals with Australia and New Zealand came into force at midnight on 31 May 2023. This comes after the UK, Australia and New Zealand completed their domestic ratification processes, allowing the deals to enter into force. In the UK, this required primary legislation in the form of the Trade (Australia and New Zealand) Bill.

Under the deals, beneficial terms have been introduced and significant red tape has been slashed for several UK work visas.

The following are the key business and personal UK immigration implications:

Impact on Youth Mobility Scheme UK Visa

Alongside the new trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand, more young Australian and New Zealand nationals will benefit from life-changing opportunities in the UK thanks to the expansion of the Youth Mobility Scheme visa.

As previously announced, from 29 June 2023, the age limit for New Zealand applicants coming to the UK on the Youth Mobility Scheme visa will increase from 30 to 35 years old, and also from 29 June 2023, young New Zealanders will be able to stay in the UK for up to three years as opposed to the current two years on the visa without having to meet specified work requirements.

For Australians wanting to take advantage of the Youth Mobility Scheme in the UK, from 31 January 2024, the age range will also be increased from 18-30 to 18-35 and they will also have the option to stay in the UK for up to three years as opposed to the current two years on the visa.

What is the Youth Mobility Scheme UK visa?

The Youth Mobility Scheme UK visa route implements the international commitments which the UK takes to provide cultural exchange programmes for young people with participating countries and territories and it normally allows a person aged between 18 and 30 from participating countries and territories to experience life in the UK for up to 2 years.  No job offer or other sponsorship in the UK is required to apply for the visa.

Participating countries and territories are currently Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, San Marino and Taiwan.


Impact on Global Business Mobility: UK Expansion Worker Visa

The Global Business Mobility: UK Expansion Worker visa route has also been simplified whereby Australian nationals or permanent residents seeking to establish a UK branch or subsidiary of their sponsor group in the UK under the UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement do not need to have worked outside of the UK for 12 months with the overseas business to apply.

Normally, an applicant under the Global Business Mobility: UK Expansion Worker visa route must have worked for the overseas linked business outside of the UK for at least 12 months unless they will be a ‘high-earner’ earning a gross annual salary of at least £73,900 in the UK, a national or permanent resident of Australia seeking to establish a UK branch or subsidiary of the sponsor group under the Free Trade Agreement between the UK and Australia, or a Japanese national seeking to establish a UK branch or subsidiary of the sponsor group under the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

What is the Global Business Mobility: UK Expansion Worker visa?

The Global Business Mobility: UK Expansion Worker visa route enables overseas businesses seeking to expand into the UK to temporarily assign senior managers and specialist employees to the UK to establish a branch or wholly-owned subsidiary of the overseas business in the UK.


Implications for Australian and New Zealand nationals and businesses

Young Australians and New Zealanders will benefit from enhanced life-changing opportunities in the UK thanks to the expansion of the Youth Mobility visa scheme.

Australian businesses seeking to establish a branch or wholly-owned subsidiary in the UK will also benefit from more flexible provisions as regards the assignment of their overseas workers to the UK and will benefit from the removal of the overseas 12-months tenure of employment requirement under the deal.

For more detailed UK immigration advice and for any other questions on this and other UK immigration developments, please contact us at info@viajeukimmigration.com